The first reports of trouble came from Ukrainian banks, Kiev’s main airport and Rosneft, in a major incident reminiscent of the recent WannaCry virus.
WannaCry was a version of ransomware that, once in a computer, locked away data from users who were then told to pay to have access returned to their own files.
“Our initial analysis found that the ransomware uses multiple techniques to spread, including one which was addressed by a security update previously provided for all platforms from Windows XP to Windows 10 (MS17-010),” a Microsoft spokesperson told AFP.
After the WannaCry scourge in May, Microsoft called on people to protect machines with the MS17-010 patch.
The flaw — and the means to exploit it — had previously been disclosed in pirated documents about cyber weapons at the US National Security Agency.
Microsoft said that its anti-virus software detects and removes the ransomware used in the latest attack.
Microsoft is continuing to investigate the latest cyberattack and will take necessary steps to protect customers, the spokesperson said.
People were also urged to be wary of clicking on email attachments or shared
“As ransomware also typically spreads via email, customers should exercise caution when opening unknown files,” the Microsoft spokesperson said.
Identification of the way the latest ransomware initially got into machines was proving challenging, and the use of email was not confirmed, according to a post by Cisco Talos threat intelligence.
“Based on observed in-the-wild
Ukraine’s central bank said several lenders had been hit in the country, hindering operations and leading the regulator to warn other financial institutions to tighten security measures.
The virus is “spreading around the world, a large number of countries are affected,” Costin Raiu, a researcher at the Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab said in a Twitter post.
In other news...
July 18 marks Nelson Mandela day. All over the country, South African citizens devote 67 minutes to charitable causes in memory of Madiba. It's a great initiative and one of those few occasions in South Africa where we come together as a nation in pursuit of a common cause. An annual 67 minutes isn't going to cut it though.
In the words of Madiba: "A critical, independent and investigative free press is the lifeblood of any democracy."
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Watermelons were originally cultivated in Africa.